International Day of Girl Child: Long way to go for India

International Day of Girl Child: Long way to go for India

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In a landmark verdict on October 11, upholding the rights of over 20 million child brides of India, the Supreme Court ruled that sex with a minor wife, in the age group of 15 to 18, would be considered as rape and will be treated as a criminal offence. The court order came even as India along with the rest of the world commemorated the International Girl Child Day around the theme of ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030’ to celebrate and empower girl children around the world.

According to a United Nations Population Fund report last year, India accounts for a third of the world’s child brides. About 47 per cent of girls in India are married before they turn 18. Though the trend of child marriages has been declining, India still has a long way to go to eradicate the menace completely. The latest Supreme Court order is a major milestone towards achieving that goal.

As part of United Nation’s international day to create greater awareness on the issues impacting girl children around the world and to promote steps for their empowerment, several countries have undertaken major programmes to highlight and support girl children and to end gender discrimination.

Nobel moment for Kazuo Ishiguro, digger of inner truths

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  It’s a time of rejoicing and celebrations for all Kazuo Ishiguro fans, and those who relish his uncanny talent for excavating abyss beneath the⋅⋅⋅
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Women Power: Swaraj, Ivanka Trump bond at UNGA

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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invite to the US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to be her father’s goodwill ambassador and lead the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this year, it was hailed as a significant diplomatic move considering how Ivanka has emerged as one of the most influential people in the Trump administration.

Taking a step forward, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Ivanka Trump on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly summit in New York and discussed women empowerment and the upcoming entrepreneurship summit in Hyderabad which PM Modi is very keen on promoting to showcase the best brains of the country.

Masjid message: Modi showcases India’s secular culture to Japan’s PM

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AHMEFDABAD: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got a taste of India’s syncretic culture as he visited the 16th century Sidi Saiyyad mosque in Ahmedabad. Cultural⋅⋅⋅
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Bonding with Australia: Modi, Turnbull go on Delhi Metro ride

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It was soft diplomacy, choreographed with much panache, as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, accompanied by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, travelled on a metro⋅⋅⋅
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Sheikh Hasina in India: Bangabandhu bonding and Unfinished Memoirs

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Bangladesh’s Liberation War and Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman loomed large as the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh held their official engagements and appeared together at a function to honour the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for an independent Bangladesh.
After holding talks, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly released the Hindi translation of Bangabandhu’s book “Unfinished Memoirs” at the Hyderabad House, with the Indian leader saying that Bangabandhu’s “life, struggle and contribution to the creation of Bangladesh will continue to inspire future generations.” The two leaders then pressed a remote control to unveil the plaque containing the new name of a prominent street in the heart of New Delhi — from Park Street to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Street.
In his joint appearance before the media with Mrs Hasina, Mr Modi termed Bangabandhu “a dear friend of India and a towering leader” and said the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiur Rahman Street is dedicated to the friendship between India and Bangladesh.
“As a mark of our respect and deep admiration for the father of Bangladesh, a prominent road in our capital city has been named after him,” Mr Modi said.

Royal gloss to India-UK culture celebrations

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It is probably the best of time for India-UK relations and it can’t get more royal than this.Come February 27, the celebration of Indian culture in the United Kingdom will begin at Buckingham Palace, the abiding symbol of British royalty, with a reception to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
The reception by the 90-year-old Queen, the world’s longest reigning monarch, is expected to attract guests from across various fields in India, including Finance Minister ArunJaitley, and the UK’s senior-most minister of Indian origin Priti Patel among other key Cabinet ministers.
The Palace came out with the date of the reception as February 27 in the calendar of engagements of the Queen. “Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh will give a reception to mark the launch of the UK India Year of Culture 2017.” The decision to celebrate India-UK cultural bonding in 2017 was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to London in November 2015.

When the powerful bully others, we all lose: Meryl Streep

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Iconic Hollywood actress Meryl Streep stunned America by making a series of veiled jibes at US President-elect Donald Trump (without naming him) at the Golden⋅⋅⋅
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UNESCO boost for India’s cultural diplomacy: Yoga declared as world treasure

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participates in the mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath on the occasion of International Yoga Day, in New Delhi on June 21, 2015.

It’s a high moment for the global march of yoga and India’s cultural diplomacy. Building on the success of the UN’s designation of the International Yoga Day, the UNESCO has now declared yoga as “world treasure” and inscribed the ancient Indian practice in its Representative List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In a quiet diplomatic triumph for India, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the 24-member Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage unanimously declared Yoga as a “Human Treasure” on December 1. The panel overturned the decision of an Evaluation Body of technical experts, which sought to defer the case to the next session of the Committee in 2017.
The Indian Delegation to Addis Ababa was led by India’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO Ruchira Kamboj. “Never ever happened before! After #Yoga inscription, entire conference does Yogic breathing,” tweeted Ms Kamboj. India’s Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma hailed the UNESCO’s inscription of yoga as “a huge achievement for India.”

The decision is set to give an added boost to the global popularity of yoga as yoga activities can be now promoted with the prestigious UNESCO branding and logo.
The UNESCO’s inscription of yoga also provides more resonance to India’s role as a bridge-builder in promoting a global dialogue on intercultural relations and sustainable development.

Toasting India-Thailand Sanskrit Bonding: Honouring Princess Sirindhorn

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It was a time for Indo-Thai cultural bonding. Sanskrit and sanskriti (culture) blended beautifully as Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was conferred the first World Sanskrit Award in the Indian capital on November 21.
“The Thai language is very different from Sanskrit. But culturally it’s very similar,” the Thai princess said after receiving the first Sanskrit award instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). It’s a great honour to receive it from the Vice President of the country. The award included US$ 20,000, a citation and a lapel pin.
Sirindhorn, fondly called by Thais as “Phra Thep” (“princess angel”), has emerged as a top contender for the crown in Thailand after the recent death of the country’s beloved monarch. A well-regarded scholar of Sanskrit, the 60-year-old Thai Princess has served as Royal Patron for the World Sanskrit Conference.
In his speech, Vice-President Hamid Ansari evoked the beauty and depth of the Sanskrit language in which many of India’s iconic religious and philosophical texts were written.
Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar underscored the effortless spread of Sanskrit to foreign countries over the years, and cited it as an example of India’s soft power. “Sanskrit did not travel with arms and is the first true evidence of what we today call soft power,” he said.